CHICAGO (CBS) — Backed by $200,000 in funding from Cook County, the CeaseFire community organization will deploy four workers in the Uptown neighborhood to help mediate conflicts and reduce violence.
CeaseFire touts progress in reducing violent crime in nearby Rogers Park and hopes to duplicate that success in Uptown. The agreement calls for the Cease Fire workers to be deployed in the neighborhood for 12 months.
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The workers will focus on talking with residents and community leaders to help to mediate conflicts before they escalate to violence.
County Commissioner Bridget Gainer and outgoing Ald. Helen Schiller pushed for the county-funded program which will hopefully produce the same 20 percent to 30 percent drop in violent crime being reported in Rogers Park.
The Uptown Update blog has been focusing on the increased violence in the neighborhood over the past few years, including several times in which alleged gang members engaged in violent fights on busy streets in broad daylight.
In one of the more frightening incidents, three teenagers were shot and critically wounded as children trick-or-treated in broad daylight on Halloween. Families ducked behind parked cars for safety as the shots rang out near Montrose and Magnolia avenues.